"“The most difficult part of birth is the first year afterwards. It is the year of travail – when the soul of a woman must birth the mother inside her. The emotional labor pains of becoming a mother are far greater than the physical pangs of birth; these are the growing surges of your heart as it pushes out selfishness and fear and makes room for sacrifice and love. It is a private and silent birth of the soul, but it is no less holy than the event of childbirth, perhaps it is even more sacred.”
– Joy Kusek
POSTPARTUM DOULA SERVICES
I offer traditional postpartum doula care, as well as birth trauma support and postpartum ritual care.
As your postpartum doula, I serve as a quiet, efficient extra set of hands, a sympathetic ear and a reassuring presence. Some days my role will be to offer helpful suggestions for breastfeeding, tidy up your kitchen or demonstrate infant care tasks, and other days, it will be to listen, give a hug and provide non-judgmental validation about whatever you are struggling with. Hallmarks of my approach include fixing small snacks, teas and water for you on the nightstand or wherever you are feeding your baby, and checking in with you about how things are going over a warm foot bath.
My goal is for you to feel that someone is looking out for and tending to YOU while simultaneously fostering your ability to stand on your own two feet.
MY ROLE AS YOUR POSTPARTUM DOULA:
I strive to STRENGTHEN your confidence in your own instincts, your ability to speak and actualize your needs and your connection to your baby, partner and other family members, so that following the completion of our time together you are well positioned to mother your baby and relate to your other family members from a place of SATISFACTION, BALANCE, AND FULLNESS.
Postpartum doulas fill an important gap in modern life, where families are spread out and neighbors often don't know each other enough to ask for or give assistance during such a vulnerable time. With high rates of postpartum depression and traumatic birth, lack of sufficient (or any) paid leave for most mothers and fathers, and general lack of support after hospital discharge, postpartum doulas provide invaluable services: easing the shock of life with a new baby, instilling confidence, lightening the burden of other household obligations and setting families up for less stressful adjustment.
In addition to nonjudgmental support and reassurance, as a postpartum doula I may provide assistance with the following:
- infant care, cues and soothing
- light housekeeping, simple errands and meal/snack prep
- in-home sibling and pet care
- holding or wearing baby so mom can shower, eat, rest or spend time with older child(ren)
- recovering from and processing the birth experience
- locating outside resources for additional support
Please see the FAQs below for information on the limitations of postpartum doula care.
In-home, daytime support: $30/hr. Minimum 4 hour shifts.
Overnight support: $35/hr. 8-12 hour shifts available.
I take a non-refundable deposit of $360 to reserve your spot on my calendar. This deposit covers 12 hours of postpartum care and will be applied toward your last visit(s) with me. Payment is due in advance for all other days scheduled.
Additional fees apply in some circumstances, such as if support is rendered on a holiday or outside the home (e.g., caring for you while you are hospitalized).
Birth Trauma Processing
For women who have experienced difficult or traumatic births, I offer a listening ear as a standalone postpartum doula service. In this capacity, I am available to witness emotions, questions and memories you may be struggling with and provide support and validation to you in integrating what happened. I have experience supporting women on a peer-to-peer basis who are healing from unplanned cesarean sections following planned unmedicated birth, but am honored to support women who have experienced traumatic births of all kinds.
- A la carte phone appointments at a rate of $30/hr for a minimum of 2 hours
- For $120/week, unlimited phone and text support M-F between the hours of 9-5 EST
- Full payment is due up front
- Birth trauma clients receive a 10% discount on a healing ceremony if desired
Birth Healing Ceremony
For those who have endured a traumatic or difficult birth, I am able to facilitate a ceremony to promote closure and healing. Typically, we fill a tub with warm water -- possibly with an herbal bath or a milk bath -- and light some candles. We say some words about the birth, the mother and the baby, and allow space and time for tears as needed. If the mother wishes, we may decorate the room with items associated with the desired birth space, such as special lights and affirmations. I help the mother into the bath and support her through any emotions she may be experiencing. When she is ready, her baby is handed to her to be brought to her chest. She and her baby enjoy the bath together as long as desired, perhaps nursing. Words may be said, or we may stay quiet, allowing the mother and child whatever environment they need to rewrite this rite of passage.
If desired, there may be additional details, like a symbolic cord burning. With permission, I will take photographs, and assist you in getting settled and comfortable following the ceremony. Within a week, I will return to debrief with you, check in on your healing and provide you with any additional resources. I will also present you with a keepsake from the ceremony that includes a photograph and some words to memorialize the occasion.
$400 flat fee due at first appointment
- Further birth processing, $30/hr
- Closing ceremony, $100
- Additional pre or post-ceremony appointments, $80 each
- Incorporation of inflatable tub and liner, $70
Known variously as a "birth reclaiming" or "re-birth" ceremony, this personalized tribute offers mother and baby (and partner, if desired) an opportunity to recreate and benefit from the desired birth experience after-the-fact, in the privacy of the home, in the event the birth did not go as planned. The intent is to honor the beauty and sacrifice in how you and your baby met, facilitate any needed grieving and allow mother and baby to repair the wounds of the birth experience through access to the peaceful, uninterrupted bonding and memories they originally missed out on. Ceremonies can be held at any time -- during the early postpartum weeks (so long as you are healed from any incisions that prohibit soaking), or many months later.
YOUR BIRTH HEALING CEREMONY WILL INCLUDE:
- two 90-minute appointments to discuss your birth and the ceremony
- assistance choosing or creating readings and reflections for the ceremony
- communication with any individuals you would like to attend or participate in the ceremony
- email, phone and text support between appointments and ceremony to complete planning and assist you emotionally
- facilitation of the ceremony at a set date and time in your home
- provision of non-household items such as bath ingredients, flowers, etc.
- assistance getting settled with your baby following the ceremony
- one post-ceremony appointment in your home
- photographs and ceremony keepsake
- access to complimentary resources related to birth trauma and healing
A LA CARTE ADD-ONS TO POSTPARTUM DOULA CARE:
POSTPARTUM MEALTRAIN SETUP
MealTrain is an online service allowing family & friends to sign up to bring you food after the baby is born. I can organize your MealTrain so that you can rely on others to cook and bring you food. COST: $60
POSTPARTUM CHORE TRAIN SETUP
Family and friends willing to help out? Hire me to coordinate their efforts with tasks like cleaning, meal delivery & more so that you can recover without distraction. COST: $100
MAGICAL POSTPARTUM PADSICLES
RITUAL BATH AND SEALING CEREMONY
Enjoy a nourishing milk & honey bath followed by a ceremony in which your body & the birth process are symbolically closed by wrapping you in blankets warmed with herbal heat packs. COST: $200
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
A postpartum doula is dedicated to supporting the mother and new family in learning to care for the new baby themselves, while providing respite with respect to issues of household management. Services include instruction, support and information around infant care, feeding and similar, and holding the baby temporarily so that parents can break for a nap or self-care, but do not extend to taking over care of the infant or caregiving alone while the parents are unavailable (such as with a nanny, night nurse or newborn care specialist).
Unlike lay persons, postpartum doulas are professionals who are specially trained to provide emotional support and non-biased instruction around things like infant feeding and care after birth. They are able to enhance your existing support system by serving as a disinterested third party dedicated only to you. By contrast, family members are understandably emotionally invested and often see your parenting and other postpartum decisions through the lens of their own biases and experiences, which can make it difficult to identify and be confident in your own instincts, preferences and decisions. In addition, parents often find that folks they expect to help are more interested in holding the baby and visiting, creating pressure to entertain and hand off the baby when they should be resting and bonding. A doula’s role is to be a dependably non-invasive, helpful presence in your home, giving you and your partner the breathing room you need to rest and care for yourselves and your baby.
As your postpartum doula, I will not:
- drive you and/or your baby anywhere
- take over care of your infant, other child(ren), pets or family members
- engage in deep cleaning of your home
- recommend, administer or dose any infant medications, perform any newborn procedures or make any clinical diagnoses
- tell you what to do or what I would do in a given situation
- stay alone with your child(ren), pet(s) or any other family members
Refunds are not available; if I am forced to miss any pre-paid/scheduled visits due to a client in labor, illness or similar, we will either reschedule the previously purchased time or I will call in backup care, depending on your preference.